View Full Version : Widebody/Oversize Racquets and Women's Game

03-02-2005, 07:09 PM
The consensus seems to have formed that widebody/ oversize racquets helped the aesthetic side of women's tennis, and hurt the men's. I actually think it has hurt the women's game more.
There is some doubt as to where a #1 WTA player would be able to compete against a man, but no one thinks it includes any male in the main draw of a major. So when women are out slugging away and the best couldn't beat the worst in the men's field, what's the point of watching if they're playing an imitation men's game? First-strike tennis gets boring on the men's side, but there is something viscerally impressive in watching Fernando Gonzales or Andy Roddick crank the ball. That style, which really came fully into play with Andre Agassi and the POG (watch the first set of his '88 US Open semi agaist Lendl if you don't believe me), is not possible without either a widebody or oversize frame. Limiting the headsize to 90 sq. in. and the beam width to 22mm would help the women's game more than even the men's, bringing out style and grace. Women's figure skating is more popular than men's even though they can't accomplish the jumps the men do because they emphasize the style. Hearing Sharapova and Serena grunt and watching them flail away to me is not a big deal, knowing they'd be playing to get games, not sets, against a male journeyman. If their game showed off elegant shotmaking like Evonne Goolagong's and Hana Mandlikova, that question would not arise. I know the racquets are unlikely to be limited, just my 2 cents...

03-03-2005, 04:54 AM
Andre Agassi once said that modern rackets helped smaller, counter-punching returners more than it's helped servers.

Women's tennis has gotten way better IMO because of more powerful rackets. I saw a French Open match between Evert and Martina N and it was like in slow motion. The women's game is much better today.

I think the men's game is better as well, but I wouldn't mind if the ATP experimented with more intimate camera angles. Sometimes when the camera is overhead, it's like watching too cockroaches play.

I think the biggest problem with the ATP right now is not too much power but not enough personality. Players should be encouraged to be a bit more demonstrative. I'm not saying they have to act a la professional wrestling, just that dignity is one thing, but suppressing human expression is another.

I wonder if the academy system is partially responsible. Living such a structured, narrowly focused life can't be good at producing well rounded, expressive, interesting adults. I think that may be why Roddick is relatively interesting, articulate, because he didn't grow up at a tennis factory. It's like the academy kids think about nothing but tennis, and they even take classes on how to interact with the press; pretty much being taught to give cliche for answers, not say anything controversial, be a tennis politician.

That's my gripe more than rackets.

Petra Martinnen
03-03-2005, 04:57 AM
So why would anyone watch the WTA? Big rackets..Blah, blah. As Reagan would say: “Well, here you go again.” Many answers. Most of the guys are simply dull with no storylines. Too many serves with haircuts. Few sports, none? other than figure skating and TENNIS have ratings the same for the gals! Ask yourself honestly why? I like it more when at big times the gal can’t just serve her way out of trouble: ace, service winner, and breakpoints eliminated! I prefer a 2 hour match rather than a 4 hour one at slams. And nothing is more stupid than an early round Roddick, Federer vs. #80 3 set slaughter. For one week you will get just this on TV at slams. At least a Serena, Lindsay rout is done in 55 minutes. Guy pros would not be pebbles in big sports like soccer, basketball, football where $$ for top 500 guys is 20 times what it is in ATP! Very few top guys bother with tennis because they cannot make money. Top 2 in entire country make ATP draws so the athletes play soccer in Europe and S. America, not tennis! Adnin USa there is more choice. So tennis is more significant on WTA level. Yes, the only sports where many gals can earn 100K in prize money are tennis and golf. You like lady figure skating but most could not name more than 4 current competitive skaters. ****skaya, Kwan, Sasha and ??? Yes, we know there are a few thousand guys who can beat WTA pros out of millions who play! So what? Why do guys fixate over NCAA basketball, they can't play NBA teams! Unlike so many macho connoisseurs who post here with big 5.0 resumes, I see almost no guy in person who could hope to getr games off ANY WTA pro who tries. You must get to ranked NCAA for that or ask a Granville to try. As you know, on recreational court the 4.5 gal will beat 3.5 guys and play close with most 4.0 guys. This I see. Even at 3.0 or 3.5 as serve is less and errors more, a guy and gal play a good game. Size and gender mean almost nothing if the guy can’t hit a ton of a 1st serve or big forehand. I see few guys who can hit a 100mph serve 50% in. A WTA pro can compete with some NCAA men – try that in other sports! So you enjoyed the gals back in the day of King and Goolagong and Wade and Chrissie? How condescending! The gals are light years fitter, faster, stronger and, yes, better now. Much more so than the guys because of Title IX and the advance of gals in all areas of society. But people like you are still dismissive! If it is not their "lousy" game it is their lousy appearance or atttitude etc. It bothers you to watch inferior sports. “Not feminine enough now!” Meantime the #400 woman would bagel you. 48 year old Martina N would bagel you. I do not know where you play, but most guys, even advanced, ones use a wide body, and even Roddick and Moya and Nadal. This small oldie racket nonsense is a fetish tied to a notion of masculinity and another story. I asked 5.0 gal who has complete game including at net and plays 4.5 guys well why she uses a 115 widebody and not some approved lead weight oldie. She told me “There’s no advantage whatsoever. I don’t understand why some of these men do.” Yes,the WTA is more watchable than the ATP.

03-03-2005, 05:30 AM
If the #6 for Baylor played Serena Williams, I'd put my money on Baylorboy.

But, it's true that most of us 5.0 and 5.5 guys would get completely destroyed by a top female pro. I'd love to marry a great female player. That would be a great life.

03-03-2005, 05:54 AM
Maureen Connolly would rout Serena, if you brought Maureen forward in time and gave her a big racquet or moved Serena back in time and gave her a small one. The wood racquet match would be more entertaining to watch.
Bigger, taller, faster - you're just parroting the "big lie" technique of the network broadcasters. When you've got an inferior product to sell, praise it to the moon - in the immortal words of Red Skelton "Guzzler's Gin, a really smooth drink!" delivered with an involuntary grimace as he almost passed out from the searing burn of the swill.